- "There like jewels sunk in the deep shone glinting stars, though sunlight was in the sky above. Of their own stooping forms no shadow could be seen."
- —The Fellowship of the Ring
The lake lay less than a mile east and a little below the Great Gates of Moria. It was long and oval, shaped like a great spear-head thrust deep into the northern glen of the vale. Its waters were dark: a deep blue like clear evening sky and there was a smooth sward of grass around its rim.
In the First Age, Durin the oldest of the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves wandered into Azanulbizar vale and beheld in a small, still lake a reflection of himself bearing a crown of seven stars. The stars were the constellation Durin's Crown which the elves call Valacirca and men call the Big Bear. Because of this sign Durin chose to build his great hall Moria in the mountains above that vale. The name Kheled-zâram is in Khuzdul and means "Glass-lake". In Westron it was called Mirrormere, it is probably so named because the waters of the lake were always smooth and the stars could always be seen reflected in its surface no matter the time of day. Only Durin, however, could see his own reflection.
The Dwarves of Durin's Folk regarded this site as sacred and built a monument there. It was a single stone column called Durin's Stone, standing by the roadside. After Moria was abandoned it fell into disrepair, and in the last years of the Third Age it was cracked, weather-worn, and broken at the top.
When Balin came to retake Moria in TA 2989 one of his companions, a dwarf named Flói was slain in a battle before the Gates and was buried in a place of honour by the banks of Kheled-zâram. Balin himself was killed here five years later, by an orc arrow, when he went alone to look into the lake.
|Lakes of Arda|
Bywater pool | Forbidden Pool | Gollum's lake | Great Lake | Kheled-zâram (Mirrormere) | Lake Evendim | Lake Helevorn | Lake Mithrim | Linaewen | Long Lake | Lórellin | Nen Hithoel | Nísinen | Tarn Aeluin
- The Atlas of Middle-earth pg. 81
- Kheled-zâram at Tolkien Gateway